This blog was written at various stages of a 24 hour evening and a 36 hour journey:
From the dark (too dark to see my laptop) confines of an air china 747. I can report a distinctly mixed day, never a dull moment, or a blood Glucose check in range. And the seat in front just slammed back into my knees. Arse.
Leaving home 14 hours ago I drove I pick up teammate Jordan and meet coaching as Jessie at the train station. We schlepped boxes and bags onto a rapidly departing train (if bike box cx were an event, I'd be a cardboard carrying Sven nys) which took us to a station where we took a bus to an airport. All good so far.
Things went a little Pete tong here. There seemed to be an issue with the third party issuer of our visas. After considerable sweet talking and hand gesturing we've managed to check our bags and ourselves to Taiwan where we should recollect our visas and head south to Ho chi min city.
China airways have been exemplary in their service. The food has been fantastic and there's a USB charger and a power outlet in the seat. They carry bikes for free, refused to waive fees for the diabetic supplies I'm carrying to a diabetes organization in Vietnam, but then didn't charge us for bags anyway.
Incidentally I can elect from several feature films including one on "bike messengers" and another on food bloggers. How very vogue.what next? A biopic on the social connotations of pbr, crafting a fully fledged 'stache and how to fit into your skinny jeans?
Update: we made it to Taipei, where it came to our attention that my visa hadn't. I sent some emails we became gradually more offensive as I got closer to the deadline for checking in for my next flight. Eventually I got a reply suggesting my application had been lost but was now being processed. More emails ensued and we obtained the visa with 5 minutes to spare. It didn't occur to us until a little later that I had not one visa but three, so some poor bastard(s) are in the same position I just was. Facing two weeks in Taipei airport without the necessary visa to go out of the airport or the necessary credit card limit to change their flights. Lessons learned : don't EVER use vietnamvisa.gov.ve , Taiwan airport arrivals lounge Has benches long enough for me to sleep on(and i have a clean foot on most people here) but even the sandwiches are too spicy for me to eat without my nose and eyes issuing forth a torrent. Gina airlines has wonderfully helpful ground staff. Tea here is good and rice, even with prawns in it,CAN be made into a breakfast porridge .
Second update: we made it! The race sent a driver to pick us up at the airport and e did an exemplary job of cranking up the backstreet boys whenever out lack of a commonlanguage hindered conversation. Because "backstreet is back" is universal. We went shopping and grabbed a few essentials; "safety food", bbq seaweed, steak flavoured crackers, gold cow energy drink. lemon toothpaste dragonfruit an fried squid.
Returning with our goodies we hopped out for a spin. Within 500 meters of the hotel I had flatted, snapped a valve extender and caught a lift with a friendly local on a moped to his house where we inflated my tyre and continued on our adventure in motor pacing. On the Main Street it is no exaggeration to say there are thousands of motorcycles, I now. Know how if feels to be a fish in a shoal albeit the only fish in Lycra, the I y fish with a beard and the tallest fish by about a foot. My YouTube channel (right) has a video of the craziness.
On our route back we bumped into two weddings and what looked like a fatality. Night one in Saigon and already the adventures have begun! Stay tuned.